See Andy's other stuff:

RSS Feed

Follow Andy

Contact Me >>

Is it OK to ask people to talk about you?

A great thought from Scott Ginsberg:

DON’T: focus on asking people to spread the word for you.

DO: concentrate on making your ideas, products and services self-evident.  Build remarkability into them ahead of time.

That way, you won’t HAVE to ask.

People will just do it.

Read the original post here. 

This is right on, and part of a bigger discussion. I have a few fine points of difference with what Scott says. I think it’s great to ask people to spread the word.  They need to know that you appreciate and value their help.  But that is very different than forced PR pitches.



Email to a friend:

Privacy: We won't save or reuse these emails.


  1. jen_chan, writer October 2, 2007 at 3:47 am #

    There is just something pretentious about asking people to spread the word about you, especially when there’s nothing to tell the people about in the first place. It makes everything about you unbelievable. There is nothing like being a walking talking evidence of your own achievements.

  2. Andy Sernovitz October 2, 2007 at 7:17 am #

    That’s the point, Jen. You do have to have something worth talking about. But when you achieve that goal, there is nothing wrong with telling people that you appreciate a referral.

  3. Craig Rentmeester October 2, 2007 at 10:25 am #

    I don’t think you understood the post.
    This post is very Purple Cowish, but I like it just the same.
    Organizations need to realize that successful, long-term marketing isn’t just about spinning something a different way and asking customers to jump on board. Rather, it’s about considering marketing at all points of contact within an organization and with its consumers. That can, and should, include product development teams, web development teams and sales teams, not just the marketing department.
    If the product and messages hit the target(resonate with customers), people will rally and spread the word for the organization, whether or not the company asks or tells them to. Asking is just a way to get the ball rolling and let customers know they can play a role in creating a larger movement.

  4. jen_chan, writer October 8, 2007 at 11:50 pm #

    I’m just talking about the other side of asking people to talk about yourself– that you don’t have to literally ask people to do it for you. When you have something great, people will naturally gravitate towards it and spread the word about it.

  5. Katie Konrath October 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

    I’d like to contest Jen’s point that people will talk about us if we just are great enough. Yes, people are thrilled to talk about remarkable products, services, etc. I won’t argue about that.
    But, people can be oblivious and just not think about talking about the remarkable thing in all the best places. Case in point: I just started reading Andy’s book, which is great and I’m happy to tell people about it.
    Would I have written about it on Amazon though? Under normal circumstances, probably not because it just hadn’t entered my head. Luckily, Andy put a nice little postcard on the front asking if I could review on Amazon–good or bad.
    When I saw the postcard, it was just a jolt. “Oh, of course!” I thought. “That’s a good idea.”
    Sadly, I don’t think I’m alone in being oblivious to places I could talk up great products, services and people. For that reason, I love it when people give me a little push and direction.
    Asking isn’t inappropriate–only “used-car salesman” asking is.

Get My Newsletter!

Subscribe to Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! for a weekly email full of unusually useful ideas for smart marketers. Great marketing is about brains, not bucks. The best business ideas are easy to do, inexpensive, and fun. Learn to simplify your business, earn word of mouth, and thrill your customers:

Never display this again